Dean Nicyper

John Coltrane – Tribute to Herman Leonard (2014)


Price Realized: $813
Includes Buyer’s Premium

Charcoal on paper
18.5″ x 23.5″

This item was donated by The Artist.

10% of the net proceeds of the sale of this Artwork will be shared with the Artist.

This item ships from NY (ZIP to be confirmed)

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About The Work

This arresting portrait of John Coltrane (1926-1967), the pioneering modern jazz musician, transports viewers back to a dimly lit jazz bar—a scene that the American photographer Herman Leonard (1923-2010) is most known for. While charcoal has been used as a tool for drafting since the Renaissance, Nicyper’s choice of charcoal as a medium in 2014 suggests deeper connections. The wonderful depth of the charcoal marks remind viewers of chiaroscuro, the effect of strong contrast between light and shadow. This approach connects the classic style of Leonard’s black-and-white jazz series in the late 1940s with Coltrane’s ultimate musical pursuit—to capture light from darkness.

In the early 1970s, Nicyper’s campus life at Marlboro College imprinted upon him a fascination for fine arts and jazz music. In the magazine Potash Hill, Nicyper recalled that Frank Stout, one of his then-professors, played “Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington records to ricochet around the room like a pinball, which uniquely inspired our drawings and paintings of the live models.” The artist’s life experiences are interwoven into the piece offered here, reflecting a profound response to the inspiration when art meets jazz.

~ An-Ru Chu, Student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Master of Arts in Art Market Studies.

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